Obama, Hillary Clinton sit down to lunch
Hillary Clinton and President Obama meet for lunch on Monday, July 29, 2013. (Official White House photo by Chuck Kennedy)
July 29th, 2013
02:40 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama, Hillary Clinton sit down to lunch

Updated at 2:46 p.m. ET on 7/29

(CNN) – As the nation's top diplomat, Hillary Clinton used to be a regular presence at the White House, but since leaving her post as secretary of state earlier this year, Clinton has been busy delivering speeches and launching her post-government initiatives.

On Monday, however, Clinton made a return to the building for lunch with President Barack Obama.

Plenty of issues – ranging from health care to Middle East peace talks – could have been conversation starters for the pair, though on Monday, Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said it was "largely friendship that's on the agenda for the lunch today."

"Much has been written about over the last four years how Secretary Clinton and the president have developed not just a strong working relationship, but also a genuine friendship," Earnest said, adding the lunch was an "opportunity for the two, who saw each other on a pretty frequent basis over the course of the last four years, to have the chance to catch up."

Clinton will also meet with Vice President Joe Biden Tuesday at his residence, the Naval Observatory, Clinton aides, as well as a White House official, told CNN. One person with knowledge said the meeting was "long scheduled."

As for her Monday meeting with Obama, Earnest said the president invited Clinton to the lunch, which had grilled chicken, pasta jambalaya and salad on the menu.

Current Secretary of State John Kerry was spotted arriving at the White House around the same time as Clinton, though Earnest said he believed Kerry did not join his predecessor and Obama for the lunchtime meeting. Clinton, however, did stop by to say hello while Kerry met with National Security Adviser Susan Rice, according to Clinton aides.

The White House is preparing for Middle East peace negotiations in Washington Monday night, and Earnest indicated it was more than possible that the talks could have come up come during the meal.

"The purpose of the lunch was chiefly social, but given that the president and Secretary Clinton worked on this pretty closely together over the course of the last four years, I'd be surprised if they didn't," he said.

According to Clinton aides, the lunch came together when Obama and Clinton saw each other at the George W. Bush Presidential Center dedication ceremony in April, where Obama and former President Bill Clinton gave brief remarks. With the president and the former secretary of state having busy schedules this summer, July 29th became the agreed upon date, the aides said.

Former rivals during their marathon battle for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, Obama and Clinton forged what most parties say was a strong working relationship during her years at the State Department. Since her departure, the pair met for dinner at the White House along with her husband, and for the dedication of the Bush library in Texas.

Clinton, a potential candidate for the White House in 2016, has spent her months post-State appearing at events focused on women's empowerment, as well as maintaining a healthy roster of paid speaking engagements.

She launched an initiative through the Clinton Foundation dedicated to early childhood development, and signed a book deal in April for a diplomacy-centered memoir to be released in 2014.

CNN's Jessica Yellin, Kevin Liptak and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • President Obama
soundoff (378 Responses)
  1. YeahRight

    How do you know when someone is going to run for President? They tell you they have no plans to run for President.

    Hillary is running. She was always running. There was never a doubt that she was running. And, unless the GOP gets its act together, she will be President for 8 long, insufferable years.

    July 29, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  2. James

    She suffered a stroke possibly do to failures as SECSTATE. Not sure if she could physically handle the pressure of the political spotlight. However if she took up Bill Clinton's diet then maybe.

    July 29, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  3. ST

    Bravo Hillary. Chase your dream as everyone does in chasing the American dream. I know for sure you will be successful. Keep an eye on those who made Pres. Obama won not once BUT twice (The Obama Campaign Group). They are superb individuals and they really know what they are doing.

    July 29, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  4. terrance

    How can we screw more people at home and kill more people in the middle east is what this meeting is about

    July 29, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  5. Wade

    The two murderers, failures and liars sharing a lunch . How nice. LOL.. Now of course the Liberal press will make her their new GOD or Queen,. They have already started to campaign for her,. in fact NBC is running a mini series on her.

    July 29, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  6. hitman

    Nothing to see here folks. Move along!

    July 29, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  7. blake

    This should be an interesting conversation. Two ego maniacs. Two compulsive liars. Two big government, big spending, socialists.

    July 29, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  8. tom

    They are just working to synchronize their cover-up responses to Benghazi inquiries.

    July 29, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  9. robin

    I smell cover-up!

    July 29, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  10. Uncle Sam

    Obama is not only a racist, but also a sexist. IF it was a male instead of Hillary they would be having a beer together.

    July 29, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  11. hender1123

    Payback time?

    July 29, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  12. Prancercize

    The Hillary machine will let Obama know............you better support me.

    July 29, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  13. Anonymous

    This is where he asks her to fall on her sword again to protect him again...

    July 29, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  14. Joe M.

    Hillary is saying, "Please don't plan on campaigning for me. You have been a disaster and I want nothing to do with you. Every person you actively campaign for loses, so stay away." That should be the gist of it.

    July 29, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  15. Anonymous

    Journalism in this country is dead ........lunch is a top story....not the IRS scandal, Libya coverup, NSA, etc etc.....Our current crop of journalists are entertainers and will do watever it takes to protect this president and the next one (Hillary). Journalism is only alive when there is a Repub in the white house

    July 29, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  16. Name: Claudette Flores

    President Obamah is right and left shoulders.

    July 29, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  17. frances coles Selma,Al

    GOOD! Our present President talking with our next President. What great world....in which we live?

    July 29, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  18. censored

    Getting set up for the return of "Just Plain Bill" for the third and fourth term.

    July 29, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  19. Sven

    They are going to be served 'Lame Duck".

    July 29, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  20. tagapay3

    If you've ever seen a lion feeding at the zoo, you're about to see one right here on CNN.

    Okay, conservatives. Have a field day about how terrible these two are...

    July 29, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  21. kirk

    Wow.16 years of presidency. Sorry rethugs. Working for the uberrich and throwing working class under the bus only works so long. Then your screwed just like the rest of us

    July 29, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  22. Anonymous

    In other news, Obama had Shredded mini-wheats for breakfast this morning . . .

    July 29, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  23. DaveinNC

    Dumb and dumber or irrelevant and irrelevanter

    July 29, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  24. Chris

    Really? A "private" meeting in the White House? In the "Oval" office?

    July 29, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  25. Hector Slagg

    I imagine Obama is getting pretty miserable spouting the offical line out there and running into the cold hard facts of life. Hillary who spouts the same line will be no help but maybe they can see the folly of their ways and start doing what the nation needs to get back on track. At least one can hope.

    July 29, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
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